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Conservation Volunteers Extend Walking Tracks–December 19-22, 2011

December 23, 2011

During the week of December 19, an enthusiastic team of Conservation Volunteers visited CUE Haven to continue building the walking track that had been started in October.  The team was led by John Busson of CVNZ and included Pedro from Brazil, Nadia and Katharina from Switzerland, Yuya and Mikei from Japan and Max and Deborah from the UK.

The team arrived on Monday morning and after a short introduction, they got started spreading mulch in some of the landscaping around the nursery and cottage.  The mulch was generously provided by Treescape.

 The next day, the team went to work on the walking track.  Back in October, a Conservation Volunteers team had started the track, building a set of steps and a bridge over the stream in the gully.  The scope of work for this week was to finish off the section of track already cut and to continue to extend the track into the gully bush.

Part of the team went to work clearing and smoothing the existing track section while the rest of the group did some much needed weeding in the area around the entry of the track.  The team was also joined for the day by Yoshimi, who had been part of a CVNZ team that came out in August and who has since become a good friend of CUE Haven.

 Because the track winds through the deep gully bush and follows the major stream that flows through the property, it never gets any sun and is often wet and slippery.  In order to make the track usable year round, we decided to cover it with fine gravel.

Winstone Aggregates has been supporting our efforts at CUE Haven by sponsoring some of the metal that is used on the tracks.  On Wednesday morning, a load of gravel was delivered and Peter Hopkins of Helensville Diggers brought down several truckloads which were piled up at the start of the track.

Because the track is narrow and steep and has steps going down and up, there was no way to bring in the gravel except one bucketful at a time and the team spent the rest of the day doing the gruelling job of carrying buckets of gravel down and spreading them on the track.

It was backbreaking work but the results were worth it:

Before

After

Before

After

 Afterwards, the team took a well-deserved break.

For the rest of the week the team worked on extending the track further into the bush.  The track traverses a variety of terrain and the group ended up cutting thirty-seven steps in banks along the track route.

 Over the next couple of months additional CVNZ and other volunteers will be working to finish off the track.

We’d like to thank John and the team for all your hard work and the excellent progress made on the track.  It provides us with access to parts of the property we weren’t able to get to in the past and will be a wonderful way for visitors to enjoy the CUE Haven forest.  We also want to thank Winstone Aggregates and Treescape for assisting us with our project.

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